Friday, November 25, 2016

SAUCONY® LAUNCHES FREEDOM ISO™ WITH FULL-LENGTH EVERUN™ MIDSOLE

Freedom ISO Combines One-Two Punch Of Brand’s Award-Winning Tag-Team Technologies, Resulting In Running Experience That Starts Amazing, Stays Amazing


WALTHAM, MA (November 21, 2016) – Have you ever run and felt like you could run forever? The road unwinds effortlessly, the air is crisp and the sunrise perfect.  As the miles click by, you’re brimming with boundless energy, euphoria, and a sense of runaway freedom. Some refer to the feeling as “runner’s high,” others a “second wind.” At Saucony it’s called the Freedom ISO™ and it delivers a running experience that not only starts amazing−it stays amazing−no matter how long your run.
Launching December 1, 2016, the Freedom ISO is the first-ever performance running shoe with a full-length EVERUN midsole. Combined with Saucony’s dynamic ISOFIT™ fit system, the Freedom ISO delivers the one-two punch of Saucony’s award-winning tag-team technologies. The result is the brand’s most technologically advanced shoe ever created.
“Finding a new way to liberate and expand the running experience−free of boundaries, full of freedom−reflects our relentless commitment to both the runner and innovation,” said Tom Hartge, senior vice president of global footwear for Saucony. “The Freedom ISO sets the course for Saucony to create a whole new running experience that’s unlike anything before. It’s EVERUN unleashed, designed to make you want to run, while fully enjoying the feeling that you could actually run forever.”

The Freedom ISO’s full-length EVERUN foam midsole maintains cushioning properties three times longer than standard EVAs while returning 83% of the energy absorbed. Adding to the extraordinary durability and flexibility of the Freedom ISO’s EVERUN midsole material, Saucony is pairing a TRI-FLEX™ crystal rubber outsole that also displays exceptional resistance to wear. Besides being resilient, the crystal rubber compound matches the considerable flexibility of the EVERUN foam, allowing for greater adaptation to different foot proportions and freedom of motion underfoot. In addition to the full-length EVERUN midsole, the Freedom ISO also incorporates EVERUN Topsole construction for even greater energy return and continuous, fluid cushioning with every stride.

Weighing in at 9 ounces for men and 8.1 ounces for women, the 4mm-offset Freedom ISO’s lightweight, racing-inspired ISOFIT sleeve creates a dynamic fit system while the breathable engineered stretch mesh upper and streamlined heel support frame add to the shoe’s impressive fit and lightweight performance.
“Our engagement with runners informs our execution,” said Hartge. “Our intent is to bring purpose and thought to every design element. The Freedom ISO, with its full-length EVERUN platform, moves the focus from equipment to experience. The true significance of the Freedom ISO is that all the elements come together in perfect harmony.”

Freedom ISO Marketing: Starts Amazing, Stays Amazing
The Saucony Freedom ISO will be supported by a global, multichannel marketing campaign−Starts Amazing, Stays Amazing−to debut December 1. Marketing support includes a double-page spread in the December and January issues of Runner’s World; a dedicated Saucony Freedom ISO landing page; social media; digital activation; and in-store elements at select running specialty retailers, including window, point-of-purchase and dynamic product displays. Preorders of the Freedom ISO became available at saucony.com on November 18−designated as Saucony “Freedom Friday.” 
A Freedom ISO sneak peek is currently available.
The Freedom ISO will be available at select specialty run retailers and at saucony.com beginning December 1, 2016 in men’s sizes 7-13, 14 and 15, and women’s sizes 5-12. The suggested retail price of the Freedom ISO is $160.00.

To find a retailer near you, call 800-365-4933 or visit www.saucony.com

For more information on the Saucony Freedom ISO, contact Sharon Barbano at sharon.barbano@saucony.com.

About Saucony: Saucony, a division of Wolverine Worldwide, Inc.(NYSE: WWW), is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals.  Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including EVERUN™, ISOFIT™, Geometry of Strong™, PWRGRID+™, and the Total Run System™ apparel line. At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run. A great day is when we inspire someone else to run. For more information, go to www.saucony.com.


SHARON BARBANO
PUBLIC RELATIONS
SAUCONY & WOLVERINE BOSTON

T. 617.824.6126
F. 617.616.6126

500 Totten Pond Road
Waltham, MA

FIND YOUR STRONG

Thursday, November 24, 2016

SAUCONY ® TRIUMPH ISO2 NAMED BY RUNNER’S WORLD AS INTERNATIONAL EDITORS’ CHOICE FOR ‘BEST SHOE IN THE WORLD’ FOR 2016

Triumph ISO’s Proven Track Record Earns Itself Industry’s Top Performer Of The Year Recognition

WALTHAM,  MA (November 22, 2016) – Sauconyrelentlessly committed to elevating the running experience through performance innovation, is excited to announce that the Triumph ISO2, featuring Saucony’s EVERUN™ continuous cushioning technology, has been named by Runner’s World as the International Editors’ Choice for “Best Shoe in the World” for 2016. The prestigious award, selected by the editors of 20 editions of Runner’s Worldaround the globe, was presented to Saucony at the Runner’s World 50th Anniversary Celebration in New York City in early November. All of the International Editors’ Choice Awards are now officially acknowledged in the publication’s December 2016 issue. Click here for the Runner’s World video review of the Triumph ISO2.


The Saucony Triumph ISO has a proven track record in the running community as demonstrated by its ongoing recognition from Runner’s World, the world’s largest media brand in running. Prior to the Triumph ISO2’s International Editors’ Choice Award, the standout neutral trainer was named Editor’s Choice in the publication’s 2015 Winter Shoe Guide. The inaugural Triumph ISO was also recognized with an Editor’s Choice Award in the 2015 Spring Shoe Guide.

“We’re so honored that Runners World and the global running community continue to put Saucony on top of the podium,” said Doug Smiley, business unit manager for Saucony footwear. “The Triumph ISO allows us to demonstrate what is possible when you innovate to elevate the running experience. Our ongoing product philosophy focused on every aspect of the runner’s stride continues to drive us, resulting in game-changing technologies like the Triumph ISO’s EVERUN Topsole™ construction. We can’t wait for runners to now try the all-new Triumph ISO3; we’ve taken the EVERUN experience to yet another impressive level.”

The Runner’s World International Editors’ Choice award for “Best Shoe in the World” is part of Runner’s World’s global initiative to find, test and designate the best shoes on earth for its readers in the countries where it currently publishes: Argentina, Australia/New Zealand, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

The Saucony Triumph ISO3, with an increased EVERUN landing zone for maximum energy return, is now available at select specialty run retailers in men’s sizes 7-13, 14 and 15, and women’s sizes 5-12. 

About Saucony: Saucony, a division of Wolverine Worldwide, is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals.  Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including EVERUN™, ISOFIT™, Geometry of Strong™, PWRGRID+™, and the Total Run System™ apparel line. At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run. A great day is when we inspire someone else to run. For more information, go to www.saucony.com.

SHARON BARBANO
PUBLIC RELATIONS
SAUCONY & WOLVERINE BOSTON

T. 617.824.6126
F. 617.616.6126

500 Totten Pond Road
Waltham, MA

FIND YOUR STRONG

Monday, November 21, 2016

Toyo Tires Putrajaya 100 Miles Race Review

With my less than stellar 78km outing in the recently concluded Toyo Tires Putrajaya 100 Miles resulting in a 'Did Not Finish' status, I wasn't even intending to write anything about it. I didn't want to be reminded of the disappointment and pain I went through. To be even more honest, I was more embarrassed about the DNF status than anything else. I felt ashamed that I couldn't finish. I felt not good enough compared to the rest. I felt like a total failure.



But after a somewhat decent (an achy) night of sleep, I came to a realization that heck, shit happens. Yes, I 'Did Not Finish'. It's not like I cheated, swindled or killed anyone. I 'Did Not Finish' because I made a judgement call based on my condition at that current time and I think it was the absolute right decision. I'm not ashamed nor embarrassed of it anymore. I did the best I could given the circumstances and I'm proud of it. So I've decided to push my self pity aside and tell my story anyway.

Depending on who you ask, they will tell you #itsallnicksfault but I really don't know why I signed up for this particular Putrajaya ultra year after year even though at the end of each and everyone of those races, I swear to never do it again. Guess I'm a sucker for punishment or a perennial liar. Once again, that will depend on who you ask.

Anyways, this year, I opted for the 78km category instead of the usual 52km that I've done since the inception of this event. This year, just like last year, my wife and me decided to book a hotel again cos she wanted to be there to support me. We got an extremely great deal from Dorsett Putrajaya and booked for two nights since I was taking the Monday off after the race and give us the chance to experience the many hidden gems of Putrajaya which we never take the time to really look at. All my time at Putrajaya is normally spent running.

Putrajaya can be a beautiful place to visit ...

With all that done, it was time to train. I write the word 'train' very loosely. I've been battling with my meniscus tear injury comeback and it took a long while to finally be completely healed. My runs for the past 3-4 months have been nothing but short distance runs to slowly get back into the game. The longest mileage I've done prior to the race was 16km! Yes, a whole bloody 16km worth of long run and I mean one run. That's how I trained for this. How bloody awesome... NOT!

I've run an 84km ultra in Penang before and even with proper training done for that, I suffered throughout that race. To say I was going to suffer for this race is putting it extremely mildly. Genuine thoughts of not running this crept up a lot in the months prior to the race. But since a few close friends signed up for this as well, I opted to just go on with the race. At least I'll have company to share the pain with.

Fast forward to race day. After picking up my race kit, my wife and me check in to the hotel and I tried to grab as much sleep as I could before race start cos it would be a long night and I knew from past experiences, sleepiness would factor into the race. But try as I might, sleep just wouldn't come and this from a guy who loves to sleep. I re-check my gear instead.


I've been running the past few editions very minimal, with just a small pouch, narrowly flouting the mandatory gear check. In fact, I'm a very minimal runner. I hate having to carry or strap on anything and would be extremely happy if I could just run in a vest and shorts. But being an ultra and upping the distance this time round, I knew I couldn't get away with just a pouch, So I opted my very seldom used Salomon 12L hydration vest.

I tried to keep it as light as I possibly could but after stuffing it with all the mandatory items, like food, battery pack, cell phone, maps, rain jacket, thermal blanket, sweets, etc, it felt like I was carrying a whole load of bricks on my shoulders. I knew this was going to be a bother later in the race. For apparel, I opted for a Saucony tee I printed myself and a Saucony Hydralite shorts and my trusty Kinvara 7. Up to race day though, it was a toss between the K7 and the Ride 9 but the reliable and amply cushioned yet lightweight K7 made the choice easy.

So at 9.00pm sharp, the Race Director flagged off the 78km category and the suffering would start. The expected rains never turned up which was both good and bad. The initial stages of the race was pretty straightforward. Frank, Jamie, Jeanie, Lum and me kept to a very manageable pace using the run/walk method. The plan was to keep the legs fresh (or as fresh as one can be in an ultra) for the later stages of the race. The first 26km was incident free. The route was familiar and the pace was decent. My wife was waiting for us outside Dorsett as the route passed right outside the hotel. I was happy to see her and after a quick hug, it was back to work. Yeehoo also joined us for the first leg of the journey until CP1.

Jamie was a bit too fast to be seen ...

The rest of our support group consisting of Choon Yuen, Richi, Zijill and Julia turned up from around the 15km mark in their bikes to accompany us till CP3. We really appreciated all their company as they kept our minds off the race itself with their jokes throughout. Frank was keeping Jeanie and Cherly company while Jamie and me were on our own. The status quo was that way until CP3. After a slightly longer rest at CP3 where we bid our support crew farewell, Jamie and me headed off to tackle, what would to me be the most toughest and mental part of the route.

This was a long 13km stretch along the highway that led to CP4, littered with ups and downs along some oftentimes dark motorbike lane. I was glad to have Jamie's company. But unfortunately this was also where things started to go south for me. My left knee started acting up and though I was concerned, I kept going. The pain got a lot more noticeable by the 32km mark, which was also where Frank caught up with us.


I told the two of them to head out on their own cos both of them were fired up and I would only slow them down considerably if they stayed with me. I was already very worried about the knee and I could feel the onset of swelling. Both were adamant and said they would stay with me till CP4 where I could reevaluate my condition. I felt really bad and tried to move as fast as I could so I wouldn't hold them back too much. They really had a good shot at this and I was holding them back.

Once we finally reached CP4, we rested somewhat longer. After one of our longest stops, I told the two of them to head out on their own cos I wanted to rest up a bit longer and decide if I was going to DNF here. Off they went and I contemplated quitting. I decided that I'd try to head to CP3 cos I'm not one to give up so easily. By this a lot more runners were checking in and once they rested and headed out, I followed them. I didn't feel like running alone.

I had 13k to get through and this was really going to be a stretch. But strangely, I managed to actually run and found it less painful to run than walk. So I employed this longer running stretches and shorter walks and was surprised to see that I had left a lot of the runners I set out with way behind. I was happy. Hope begin to flood my depleted spirits again. I kept moving and could even muster paces of up to 6:30-6:45, albeit with a little effort. But when I stopped for walk breaks was when I knew things would not last for long. Nevertheless, I kept moving. I just needed to get to CP3 again to re-evaluate my situation.



I knew that Yan Leng and Piew were going to start their support from CP3 onwards but also knew that I wouldn't get to see them cos they would head out with Jamie and Frank who were a ways ahead. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally made it to CP3, which was by now almost deserted. I sat there and instantly felt the throbbing inflammation in my knee. I knew there and then a decision had to be made.

Should I continue or quit? I can keep on going, hobbling along slowly but at what cost? Was this what I really wanted? To push on for glory and pride, screw my knee beyond hope or to think of the bigger picture? Did I want to spend a lot of downtime recovering from another injury when I just recovered from one? My mind was at war with itself.

'But Nick, if you quit now, you're a failure, a loser, a disappointment!', it screamed. 'Don't be a wimp', it sneered! 'What would people say?', it mocked. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to go on, I'm not a quitter. I messaged the wife that I'm in pain but will keep going. She immediately called me and asked me how bad my condition was and to not push it. Go as far as I could and quit immediately if I had to. I told her I don't want to disappoint her but she replied that she wasn't disappointed and would rather I live to fight again another day.



After nearly 30 minutes of battling with my decision, I opted to go on but would called it a day if I thought it would get worse. CP3 saw me at the 52km mark and by the 54km mark, I knew that if I didn't want to be spending months on recovery, I would have to opt for a 'Did Not Finish' immediately. It pained me to admit defeat. I was devastated, honestly I was. I felt like a loser, a quitter and absolutely hopeless as I made my way back slowly to the race start location which was about a kilometer away and told the crew that I quit. When they cut my bib, it tore my heart to pieces!


I quickly made my way out of the race location cos I didn't want to be reminded of my failure. I said a silent prayer for my friends who were still running and urged them on. I knew they'd make it (and they did, superbly even) but I was unwilling to stay back and face any of them. I'd just share their joy from a distance. I was feeling so small.

I reached the hotel and my wife greeted me with a hug like I won the race itself! She told me she was proud and that I did the right thing to DNF though my mind wasn't accepting reason at that moment. I kept questioning my decision constantly while showering and stowing my gear away. Did I do the right thing? Was I a failure? Could I have done it? What would people say? Lots of questions were running through my mind. I couldn't sort them out.

I was feeling that way the whole day and even words of encouragement from my wife and friends failed to really calm my pain and disappointment. But after a good night's sleep, I woke up feeling and KNOWING that I made the right decision to DNF. Had I continued in the condition I was in, I am absolutely certain that I would have ended up throwing my future goals down the drain and I simply wasn't willing to do that.

The support crew ...

Looking back, I am glad that I made the decision I did. There really was nothing shameful or lowly in opting to DNF. It doesn't make me a lesser runner. It was a decision, tough as it may have been at that time, that had to be done and I would gladly make that call again if I had to. This incident has made me realize that if I fail again in the future, I just have to pick myself up, work even harder and move on!

That said, I have nothing but the utmost respect to each and everyone of you who finished the Toyo Tires Putrajaya 100 Miles, be it the 52k, 78km, 100km and 160km category. You guys are simply outstanding. And to those that didn't make it for whatever reason, a hell of a job trying!

Before I sign off, a huge congrats to Jamie, Frank, Jeanie, Lum and Cherly! Please don't blame me anymore, ya!

Contemplating what next!

Note: All pictures belong to the respective photographers. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Saucony® Launches The Saucony Stride Lab™ App

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAUCONY® LAUNCHES THE SAUCONY STRIDE LAB™ APP
Saucony’s Human Performance & Innovation Lab Now Puts The Power Of A Personal Biomechanics Lab In The Palm Of Every Runner’s Hand

WALTHAM, MA (November 3, 2016) – “To keep runners running, it’s not enough to get them in the right shoe; we need to help them build better running bodies,” says Spencer White, head of the Saucony Human Performance & Innovation Lab, the brand’s state-of-the-art running research center focused on empowering runners through performance innovation. Today, the Saucony Lab figuratively opened its doors to runners everywhere with the launch of the Saucony Stride Lab app, the first interactive tool that puts the power of a cutting-edge biomechanics lab in the palm of every runner’s hand.
The Saucony Stride Lab app, developed in partnership with Jay Dicharry, MPT, SCS, author of Anatomy for Runners, empowers the individual runner to build a better running body right from their personal mobile device. The Stride Lab’s innovative interface first guides the individual runner through a multi-step personal evaluation that includes their stance, mobility, stability and stride−all from their iPhone. The Stride Lab then instantly interprets the data, prioritizes the results and delivers to the runner a customized and ever-evolving plan of running-specific exercises and dynamic drills to optimize their running experience. The Saucony Stride Lab app is now available as a free download at iTunes.
“With the launch of the Stride Lab app we’re throwing open the doors of the Saucony Human Performance & Innovation Lab, sharing decades of expertise and research in stride analysis and biomechanics to help runners perform and feel better,” said White. “That information, in combination with Jay Dicharry’s world-renowned expertise in biomechanical analysis and sports athletic performance, has allowed us to create a personal running lab experience, customized for each individual runner and accessible from their mobile device at their convenience.”
“Working with tens of thousands of runners, from the novice to the Olympic level, has shown us that people are different, that they can and should run in a manner that complements their body structure,” said Dicharry. “It’s critical that runners first assess their stance, mobility, stability and stride to determine the best way for them to run. The Saucony Stride Lab app allows runners do just that, and then determines a running-specific plan of BodyWork exercises and running drills that they can follow to maximize their running performance. While other apps track the quantity of your run, the Stride Lab app will improve the quality of your run.”
The Saucony Stride Lab app will be launched to the running community at the Saucony booth at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon Health and Wellness Expo taking place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from Thursday, November 3rd through Saturday, November 5th.
 How Does The Saucony Stride Lab App Work?
1. Get Evaluated: From your iPhone, the Stride Lab app will guide you through a 7-point assessment where we can benchmark your body and identify limiters that stand in the way of your running goals.
2. Get Your Plan: Receive a customized plan of running-specific exercises and drills that address your unique issues to improve your running experience for the long term. The Stride Lab app will give you up to five BodyWork exercises at a time to perform three-times a week. You can go through them all at once or fit them in at your convenience.
3. Get Running: Check in with the Stride Lab app before every run for a series of dynamic running drills to incorporate into your daily run.
4. Get Points: Just like a personal coach, the Stride Lab app keeps track of all the great work you’re doing. See your BodyWorks score rise as you complete your tasks.
5. Get Progress: Every few weeks the Stride Lab app will ask you to re-evaluate yourself to see how you’re improving and whether you are ready to focus on the next challenge.
For more information on the Saucony Stride Lab app, please contact Sharon Barbano at sharon.barbano@saucony.com.
About Saucony: Saucony, a division of Wolverine Worldwide, Inc.(NYSE: WWW), is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals. Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including EVERUN™, ISOFIT™, Geometry of Strong™, PWRGRID+™, and the Total Run System™ apparel line. At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run. A great day is when we inspire someone else to run. For more information, go to www.saucony.com.
About Jay Dicharry, MPT, SCS: Dicharry is a physical therapist, board-certified sports clinical specialist, researcher, author, and coach. He built his international reputation as an expert in biomechanical analysis as Director of the SPEED Clinic at the University of Virginia. Through this innovative venture, Dicharry was able to blur the lines of clinical practice and sports engineering to better understand and eliminate the cause of overuse injuries in endurance athletes. His unique approach goes outside the traditional model of therapy and aims to correct imbalances before they affect your performance. Dicharry literally wrote the book on running gait assessments: he is author of “Anatomy for Runners,” has published over 30 professional journal articles, co-directs the annual University of Virginia Running Medicine Conference, and consults for the US Air Force and USA Track and Field. His research focus on footwear and the causative factors driving overuse injury helps provide his patients with an unmatched level of innovation and success. Having taught in the Sports Medicine program at UVA, he brings a strong bias towards patient education, and continues to teach nationally to elevate the standard of care for Therapists, Physicians, and Coaches. He currently directs the REP Lab in Bend, OR.
SHARON BARBANO
PUBLIC RELATIONS
SAUCONY & WOLVERINE BOSTON
T. 617.824.6126
F. 617.616.6126
500 Totten Pond Road
Waltham, MA
FIND YOUR STRONG

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Review

I've never run in the first version of the Saucony Zealot ISO before. I've heard a great deal about it but never really got my feet in them. So when Frank, from Saucony Malaysia handed me a pair during one of our weekend run sessions, I was excited. Now here in my hands were a pair of shoes I've been eagerly waiting to try. I ditched the Saucony Ride 9 I had on and put on the Zealot ISO 2 for the session. I have no benchmark to compare it against the original version so this review will be based on a totally new model for me.


The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 falls in the range of a neutral performance trainer. I've not run in any Saucony ISOFIT models before and slipping my feet into them for the first time felt more like I'm slipping my feet into a sleeve due to the wrap around coverage that the upper has. The ISOFIT is really a pretty well designed system that locks the foot in snugly. In fact, I prefer this over the K7's Pro-Lock.


The other thing that I noticed was also that the toebox area felt a little narrow to me. Most of the other Saucony models that I run in have pretty wide toe-boxes. No biggie but something for me to take note off as I put them to the test. The shoe was true to size. I'm a size 9 and it fit just nice. While I noted in was a tad narrow in the forefoot, there was adequate flexibility for an toe off and while the forefoot felt a little soft, it had enough cushioning throughout.


As mentioned earlier, the upper of the Zealot ISO 2 consists of Saucony's ISO fit system of straps running from the midsole right up to the laces in a one piece seamless layer creating a more flexible midfoot hold giving the foot a lot freer motion to flex while being held snugly but not too overly constrained. This revolutionary ISO Fit system morphs nicely to the foot for a custom feel.

The upper mesh consists of a light dense mesh that stretches out to fit your feet with only a thin FlexFilm no-sew overlay running along the toe bumper to the sides of the midsole adds strength and volume to the upper. The dense mesh was breathable enough to keep my feet well ventilated and I encountered no issues with hotspots either. 


The tongue is gusseted to the mesh upper and is plush, a little too plush for my liking but stays in place nicely. The interior of the Zealot ISO 2 is silky smooth and the Run Dry material used as the inner lining is excellent at wicking out sweat from the shoe. Overall, the upper is light and breathable enough. 


The team of engineers at Saucony have completely remodeled the midsole, making the Zealot ISO 2 a much more balanced shoe. The extremely successful EVERUN technology has now been incorporated into the Zealot ISO 2. The EVERUN is a material resistant to wear, various temperatures and shock. While it's just a thin layer of material that sits along the surface of the midsole and add a few millimeters of added depth to an already deep cushioned shoe, it does contribute to a snappy rebound of the shoe. 

The propriety midsole PowrGrid+ which is supposedly lighter yet offering 20% more cushioning for your feet is maintained. The Zealot ISO 2 has a stack height of 22mm in the forefoot and 26mm in the heel, making it a pretty well cushioned 4mm drop shoe. 


The outsole, a newly designed Tri-Flex material which increases force dispersion over a greater surface area, simultaneously delivering optimal flexibility and traction. A thick and firm rubber compound has been added to the rear of the outsole which adds to the durability of the Zealot ISO 2. The grip of the outsole was excellent, even in wet weather conditions on slippery pavements. I felt the rubber compound on the front was significantly softer and might wear out much faster but we'll see how it goes over the miles.  


I've run some substantial miles in the Saucony Zealot ISO 2, with the first being a 10 miler right out of the box and found it to be a firm, smooth and stable ride. I've put the shoe thorough a variety of paces and distances and have come to a conclusion that while the shoe is good for those long slow runs, I found they really come alive when the pace picks up! It has enough cushioning when you need them on the slower, easy runs and enough flexibility and pop when you need to up the pace a little.

While I like the Zealot ISO 2 a lot and will very likely be my race shoe for my upcoming 78km race in November, I do my find them to have a little too much upper and rides a little higher off the ground than what I would have preferred. 


Having said that, the Saucony Zealot ISO 2 is a nice high mileage shoe that offers just the right amount of cushioning for those easy runs but is flexible enough to easily handle a tempo paced workout without batting an eye. The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 is will be available nationwide in Q4 of the year.

Disclaimer - I am a Saucony Malaysia Ambassador but the Saucony Zealot ISO 2 review above is from my own personal experience and time spent running in them. This review is in no way whatsoever influenced by Saucony Malaysia

Friday, September 2, 2016

Tayaria Run 2016 Media Release



Fancy running amidst nature in a forest that's a combination of plantations and botanical gardens right in your backyard? Then the Tayaria Run 2016 that will be held at Taman Botani Negara, Shah Alam would be right up your alley. Just north of Shah Alam city centre, the place also goes by the name of Bukit Cahaya Sri Alam, while the forest reserve itself is named Bukit Cerakah Forest Reserve.

The Tayaria Run 2016 is a 10km race that's scheduled to take on the 16th October 2016. For a more detailed information of the event, please visit Checkpoint Spot, where you can also sign up for the race which is priced at RM50.00 for all categories. You'd better hurry on along and sign up if you're interested before all the slots get taken up.

In the meantime, please do check out the media release of the event below:

MEDIA RELEASE 1-September-2016 

TAYARIA Run 2016 is the first road race organised by a tyre company to create awareness and offer a platform to the public to learn more about the tyre industry and the services offered under the Tayaria flagship.

Taman Botani Shah Alam has been chosen for this inaugural run because of the green and natural ambiance for the public kick start the day on a healthy note. They may also get to learn more about the comprehensive selection of quality tyres offered at TAYARIA outlets and the sales consultants will be there to take your enquiry.

Participants will be competing in 4 categories – Men Open, Men Veteran, Women Open and Women Veteran. The top 3 winners of each category will take home a Tayaria cash voucher, trophy and medal. Top 4 to 10 will receive a trophy and medal.


The run is open to Malaysians, PR holders and expatriates with working permit.

For online registration, please log on to - CheckPoint Spot

For walk-in registration, you may drop in a:
Kit Loong Tayaria Sdn Bhd
No. 9, Jalan 201 Off Jalan Tandang
46050 Petaling Jaya Selangor D.E.
Tel : 603-7783 7663 

Participants will also be able to win more than a hundred exclusive F1 souvenirs – the Pirelli cap and exclusive sets of Pirelli key chains. There will be other lucky draws prizes to be won.


For more information about the run, please contact:
Julie Wong (Race Director)
016-228 4088 
jwbiznet@hotmail.com

For more information about TAYARIA outlets & services, please contact:
Anson Ker Marketing Manager, Kit Loong Tayaria Sdn Bhd) 012-470 3087 anson.ker.skl@kitlongholdings.com

About TAYARIA
TAYARIA is a network of independent tyre dealerships organized by Kit Loong Tayaria Sdn Bhd to deliver professional tyre services to the motoring public in Malaysia. Each outlet is independently owned and operated by its respective proprietor, but all are presented under a common store brand, TAYARIA.

TAYARIA dealerships subscribe to the philosophy of empowering customers with freedom of choice by offering a wide range of multi-brand tyres. Nevertheless, the dealers are ever ready to share their know-how and expert advice to recommend the best tyres to suit the customer’s needs. At any friendly neighbourhood TAYARIA shop, customers can expect high standards of service and professionalism, in addition to a comprehensive selection of quality tyres.

Currently with more than 90 outlets conveniently located throughout Peninsular Malaysia, TAYARIA is a key channel for Pirelli, Kumho, Corsa and Jinyu passenger car tyres.

For more information and locations of Tayaria outlets, log on to http://www.tayaria.com/

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Little Madness ...

With no races planned in the near future, I've been finding it a lot more difficult to get my sorry ass out on the roads to train. Kicking myself out of bed has been the toughest bit of training I've been doing! When the cell phone dishes its military styled bugle themed alarm, I find myself making tons of excuses and wondering why it isn't raining or something so I could pull the sheets closer and just continue to sleep in.

Actually, I'm not being entirely honest when I say I don't have races in the near future. I do have them but they're mostly 5k and 10k races closer to home and at the risk of sounding cocky, I don't really feel the need to wake up so early everyday to train for them which is why I don't have the motivation to train these days. My daily mileage when I do drag myself out of bed more than covers the training needed for that.

What next ...?

But I know that will have to change soon. One 'huge' race I have planned is slated for November. I've always said I will never sign up for it but I keep doing it year on year like the idiot that I am. And that race happens to be the Toyo Tires Putrajaya 100 Miles. Wait, before anyone jumps to any insane conclusions, it's not the 100 miles and neither is it the 100km distances that I've signed up for. The past two editions saw me running the 52km category but this year I've opted to be even more idiotic and sign up for the 78km category!

Don't ask me why I pull stunts like this cos if I knew the answer to that I'd be able to solve the worlds problems at one go too. Maybe it's cos I like the way the Pacat team organize their races. I took part in their first ever 50km race eons ago when the sport of ultra running wasn't all that much of a thing. Back then I could count the participants with my fingers and toes. I suffered like hell that day and swore to every God that would listen I was never going to join one of these 'sick' races again.


But there I was, cheerily clicking away like no tomorrow when entries opened up again the following year in 2014. Then once again in 2015, this time I even suckered Jeanie and Foo to join me in my stupidity. Oh boy, how I suffered through those 3 years. I never learn!

The first year was the worst cos it was done in the morning and by 12 noon (we all know how blisteringly hot Putrajaya can get at noon), I was walking aimlessly around some highway in Putrajaya hallucinating and talking to myself. The second year, I had Jamie along to get lost with and go the wrong way, with both of us ending up doing 56.5km instead of 52km. The third year, being held at night didn't make one goddamn difference cos I still suffered like crazy!

The first ever P50K, note the number of participants.

Then like the silly fool I still am, I go and sign up again, this time for the 78km category ... sigh! Why I insist on displaying my foolishness to the public at large is beyond me. But at least, I won't go this alone. I've got two equally insane fellows (you know who you are) to keep me company and hear me me swear once again to never sign up for races like these.

But silliness aside, the Toyo Tires Putrajaya 100 Miles is really a very well organized event run by the Pacat Adventure Team, a group of highly passionate ultra runners who knows what running is all about. The race is not a competitive one, the only competition you'll have, mind you, is with your inner self screaming at you for being so dumb. It's more of an event to give wannabe ultra pretenders like me a chance to taste what the pros go through. The cut off time is incredibly generous, in fact too generous if you ask me. But that's the whole concept of this race anyway.

P52K 2014

Now, I'm no ultra runner, never claimed to be one and never will be either. I'm between marathons at the moment and signing up for this would give me the chance to work the legs for really long distances of running, something that was solely lacking in my previous training. My legs have gotten 'soft' and this is one way to kick start them again before I embark on my next phase of marathon training targeting a March 2017 marathon.

Competitive or non-competitive, the training will still be needed to be put in to get through the race in one piece and hopefully that will build up my motivation to run again. I've always taken all my training seriously and having a goal to train for makes training a little more fun. So here's to finding my running mojo back again soon!

P52K 2015

*I can't remember who took the pictures so photo credit to respective photographers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Come For The Run, Stay For The Fun: Days 6 & 7

Day six of our stay in the Gold Coast saw us heading out of Surfer's Paradise and heading towards the mountains once again. This time it was a visit to the small township of Canungra. A visit to Canungra was initially planned for when we visited Mount Tamborine and we would have taken a different route back down the mountains and stop here for some pies at the Outpost Cafe but unfortunately the weather put paid to those plans.

Our day started late since we slept in a little longer. The wife was initially a little hesitant to go since it was pretty late in the morning but I convinced her that we had all day and I was keen to drive out of Surfer's Paradise once again. The day was a beautiful sunny day and it would be a waste if we didn't take advantage of it. I mean, we had lots of places nearby that we wanted to go but I wanted to eat the apparently famous pies being served at the Outpost Cafe.

Lahey's Tramway Tunnel

So, after a quick breakfast at the apartment, we took a slow drive out towards Canungra. The drive itself was beautiful and scenic. It took us past areas and residential suburbs we never passed before (of cos, it made me long to stay here even more). We soon left the residential suburbs and hit the mountain roads which was devoid of traffic, save for one or two cars.

I loved the drive here and the surrounding foliage was simply so calming. You didn't have crazy lorries or cars trying to overtake dangerously like the drivers back home. Here, when a vehicle was tailing you, they kept at a respectable distance and only overtook at designated overtaking zones. This made driving so stress free!

The entrance was sadly barricaded

Just before we reached Canungra, we passed by a military training zone that sternly warned the public from stopping by the side of the road or trespassing into the woods. There was the Kokoda Military Barracks just around here and I'm guessing they used the surrounding area for military training. Being a military buff, I was actually excited by this and was telling the wife I hope we get stopped by a tank or something .. Haha!

The path to the tunnel

Our first stop before arriving at Canungra itself was at this place called Lahey's Tramway Tunnel. The tunnel was built in 1903 by the Lahey brothers back in the days when the timber industry was rife here and used for transporting timber to the surrounding areas. The line itself extended for 26 kilometers and in its heydays skirted around wonderful scenery and waterfalls. It was used to store ammunition for the Kokoda Barracks during WWII before finally being officially reopened to the public in 2001 and was added to the Queensland Heritage Register in 2005.

We found the tunnel on our first try, in part thanks to Google maps. The place was deserted save for the two of us. It was a short hike down and we were at the start of the tunnel. Sadly, the entrance was fenced off for safety but it would have been great if we could just go through it. Oh well, at least we can cross off one more thing on our list. We spent about half an hour or so there scouting the place and taking some pics and then we were off to Canungra town itself which was literally just down the road.

Outpost Cafe

Canungra, is a rural town situated just 30km plus inland from Surfers Paradise. It is situated on Canungra Creek (a tributary of the Albert River), in the foothills of the McPherson Range. The name 'Canungra' is thought to derive from an Aboriginal expression describing a small owl. The town used to be well known for timber back in the old days, or so I was told by the friendly locals there. It was a really nice cozy town that depended on tourism for its economy these days.

Our first stop was of course the Outpost Cafe for some pies. Story had it they made deliciously huge pies here and I am after all a pie lover :D. The place looked cozy enough and was full of patrons. I had a hard time deciding on what pie to order cos I wanted everything! The pies were really in large portions. My wife couldn't finish hers and I gamely helped her finished it for her!

Don't let the picture fool you. The pie was really filling!

After the pie guzzling, we took a walk around the row of shops on both sides of the road checking out stuff. The weather was simply heavenly to be outside, sunny yet cool. Did I mention I could live here forever? My wife informed me that we did pass the area on our first year (2014) on the way up to Lamington National Park. It only then dawned on me that this place looked familiar.

Canungra Hotel

After an hour or so walking around, we headed back to the car and it was time to leave. We had a few more places to visit for the day namely the Gold Coast Botanic Gardens and followed by the Evandale Lake and Sculpture Walk before we head back to Surfers Paradise and a visit to the Spit.

Our first stop was the Gold Coast Botanic Gardens located on Ashmore Road, Benowa. It was a little of a disappointment for my wife though once we got there. While the Gardens itself was nice and all but it was hardly very botanical. It was just a huge park, that's all. Nevertheless, we scoured the entire place, took in the sun, had ice-cream which was lovely, took pictures and headed off to our next destination, the Evandale Lake and Sculpture Walk.

The small cozy church in Canungra

The Evandale Lake and Sculpture Walk is situated behind the Council Chambers and the Gold Coast Arts Centre and set throughout the Evandale Parklands. Here you'd find 49 art pieces by both local and international artists. Unfortunately we encountered another letdown as the place was semi closed for some renovation and refurbishment and we ended up only being able to see one solitary sculpture. Maybe next year I'd be a lot more luckier.

I just had to have a shot with him!

We headed back to the apartment for a short rest before planning to head out just before sunset to get some vain shots of myself at the Spit Sand Pumping Pier along main beach. Unfortunately we forgot how early the sun sets here and by the time we got there and even then we headed to the wrong place, which was a little further which I dubbed the Phlegm since it was just a spitting (pun not intended) distance away from the Spit Pier!

Trying my luck at being a model at the Lighthouse in the Spit

The view of Surfer's Paradise from the Lighthouse

There was a lighthouse here and vain shots opportunity were still aplenty though lighting conditions weren't ideal what with the sun having already set! Note to doofus self, remember the sun sets way earlier over here. We still had a great time looking out into the sea and admiring the Pier from a distance.  We finally headed back as we had to start packing for our departure the next day but not before stopping at the Philip Park signage to take a picture. I wanted to get a picture here ever since 2014 and I wasn't going to be denied one now!

I've waited 3 whole years for this pic!


Day 7

Sadly, it was time to head back home today. It's been a fun filled week but our flight back home was scheduled for 10.10pm so we still had loads of time on our hands and the car was also booked till 8.00pm. That gave us time for lots more places to visit nearby before we'd finally need to be at Coolangata for our flight home. We checked out with a heavy heart from the apartment and decided that we must go back to the Spit again since we had loads of time on our hands.

The Sand Pumping jetty in the background just called for a vain shot!


Off we went and found the correct entrance this time round that was actually an 800m walkway that lead to the sand pumping jetty, a pier that's quite popular for fishing and is a great place for some lovely pictures. You need to pay a small fee to walk on the pier which we declined as the beach underneath it was where we headed. The place was full of ocean loving dogs playing in the ocean and being a dog loving person, I was thrilled to see them have such fun. Took loads of pics and after an hour or so, we headed off for lunch.

Pelican feeding time at Charis Seafood

Next on the list was to catch the Pelican feeding at Charis Seafood, Labrador. We reached there about half an hour early and had to endure the ... errr, horde of mainland Chinese tourists who doing their best to scare the Pelicans away with their 'impeccable' behavior. No further explanation needed. It was finally time for the feeding and the Staff of Charis had to clear a way for the Pelicans. It was fun watching and I've never been this close to a Pelican (a mere 6 inches away) before. I'm glad we came here to watch the feeding.

The view at Paradise Point was so calming!

Next, we drove towards Paradise Point, a nice little suburb fronting Stradbroke Island. We ordered some coffee and cakes and walked over to the esplanade parklands along the east side of the suburb and took in the beautiful view. After more picture taking, it was time to finally head out of Surfers Paradise and head towards Coolangata. We wanted to beat the busy Surfer's Paradise evening traffic.

Sob! Sob!

Since we still had loads of time before our flight, we stopped by Currumbin beach, wandered around the Wallace Nicoll Park and climbed up the Elephant Rocks Lookout point. The view was spectacular from the top and I was reluctant to leave!

Best bikini clad girl I could find with the wife watching!

After dragging ourselves away from here, we drove past Coolangata Airport heading towards Rainbow Bay. I kinda misheard the Google maps notification for a turn and almost ended up a whisker away from New South Wales. After getting our bearings right and paying a little more attention to Google maps, we found the right route again and was soon at Snapper's Rock, Rainbow Bay.

We could see Surfer's Paradise all the way from here and it made us miss the place again. The time for us to be heading home was drawing nearer again. We found a nice bench and sat down enjoying the late evening breeze from the ocean in the quiet neighbourhood. Rainbow Bay is a total opposite of the bustle of Surfer's Paradise. As always, you'll see people running along the beach which made me want to just join them!

Till next year!

We eventually drove to the airport where I returned the rental car and made our way in the airport building to check in and wait for our long 8 hour flight back home. As much as I would miss the place, I also missed home, the boys and Pebbles. We had an incredible time in the Gold Coast this year. I may not have achieved much for my marathon but I took in a lifetime worth of memories!

I'm not through yet. I will be back again next year. Like I said before, the Gold Coast is like my second home and I've yet to explore more of its beautiful places. Till we meet again #GCAM17, it's been a blast!